Scorers: Kendall (2) , Jenkins
“There’s no changing rooms, but the DT block is unlocked if you wanna sand some wood?”
Changing on the touchline, without sight of showers, food, pegs, goalkeeper or opposition… Throw in a vintage referee muttering to himself and making up rules and at 2:50 everyone was feeling safe in the comfort that, after a long summer, Saturday afternoon insanity had resumed.
“I don’t believe it!!!” – Football Rules according to Saturday’s ref, Victor Meldrew:
1.1 – The Eagle Eye – An experienced referee can measure the pitch through the power of vision and a small school pitch is far too wide for our standard of football. A referee must enquire if alternative venues are available.
1.2 – The Offside Save – If a goalkeeper parries the ball forward in the act of making a save, he must not then pick it up under any circumstances. This is cheating.
1.3 – Sporting Speed – Upon collecting a through-ball, despite the ball being in play, a goalkeeper must not “dally” on the ball before picking it up. To wait for an attacker to close the ball down is unsporting and could result in a yellow card.
1.4 – The Migraine – Crucially, a referee must speak for the entire 90 minutes as if commentating to a blind Borrower perched on his shoulder. Observations should include tactical suggestions to both sides, applauding good play, bemoaning errors and at all times distracting every player. To summarise, a good referee must be “in their ear”.
1.5 – Backpass BETA 14
1.5.1 – A sliding interception is a backpass.
1.5.2 – If the goalkeeper picks the ball up in the 6-yardbox, the resulting free-kick must be taken not from where the ball was collected, but from the edge of the 18-yard-box. To take a free-kick from inside a crowded area is too dangerous – “Somebody could get hurt”.
1.5.3 – Perhaps to make up for the disadvantage, bizarrely, the resulting free-kick is direct.
Trying their best to ignore the tactical suggestions of the man in black, the famous 4-2-3-1 lined up with an enthusiastic Madgwick donning the gloves and Spinks and Wilson at full back. Last season’s effective defensive duo was reunited as Uli was joined by a returning Robbo who had declared himself fit despite still sporting an alien bursting out of his shin. The industrious Sam and Laurie halved the usual central midfield age with Kendall and new signing Shocky offering the wide trickery. Up top, Big Jenks was in behind Louis with Tom, Robert and Michel ready to make an impact from the bench. Old Garchonians arrived about 10 minutes before kick-off exhibiting a dazzling high-vis kit and a barrel-armed striker whose physique was as absurd as one on a protein supplement tin.
Despite a few hints of rustiness, the AP unit looked in control from the off. Old Gs had a few talented individuals but little cohesion, with apparent strangers referring to each other as “striker” or “player”. The opening goal came on the break, with Wilson playing it to Jenks (insert great touch for a big man cliché here) who deftly flicked in the pacey Shocky on the left. His accurate cross-field ball found Reece unmarked to slide into the bottom corner from 12 yards. 1-0 at half-time. Shortly after the restart AP had some breathing space. Shocky destroyed his man at pace and was hacked down entering the box, for a blatant penalty. Surprisingly, Victor agreed. Eric endeavoured to go all Chilavert and take it himself, but it was a calm Jenks who placed the ball on the spot. Cool as a cucumber. 2-0. Robert H and Tom were on by this point, meaning AP had 6 recognised strikers on the pitch and offered a real threat going forward. At the same time there were a few more holes at the back and the ref’s decisionmaking meant there was no danger of the game descending into calmness.
But the defence stood firm. Uli made crucial interceptions in both halves and although Robbo spent the entire game screaming at his own rusty touch (“FOR F*** SAKE ROBBO!!!”), he had Muscle Man in his pocket – denying him with a crunching tackle on the one occasion he threatened. Our Aussie did however follow this up by leisurely dribbling out of defence, treading on the ball and spectacularly falling over. Any selectors should also know that at no point did Eric produce a wonder save, diving at full length to tip over the bar… A third breakaway goal killed the game. Good work by Tom (who had a bright 45) and debutant Michel unleased Shocky to play in Reece. His deflected shot snuck under the keeper to effectively put the game to bed at 3-0. A late Garchonian volley denied the clean sheet and AP missed a few chances to add to their goal difference – Robert was particularly unlucky with a deft lob and Reece, keen for a hat-trick, fired over. Full-time. 3-1. More to come as the side gets sharper, certainly, but a satisfactory victory to start the promotion push. Rebounding from the early humiliation of a foul throw, Matt Wilson had an absolute stormer down the left – solid in defence and linking well going forward, he was fully deserving of the MOTM award.
UP THE 8s!
by John Spinks
Kit Washer – Anthony (Shocky)